Tim Tebow & Peter Dill (or "Who's Peter Dill?")
Based on twitter's trending reports, Tim Tebow is on everyone's mind these days. Or, at least, people like using 140 characters to talk about him! His performance on the football field has shaped on-line and media conversations in ways that are hard to imagine. He is the fodder for endless amounts of water cooler talk. Even Little Leaguers and Ellen are "Tebowing." Many obvious factors make Tebow a focus of attention: he's a Heisman trophy winner, the quarterback of a playoff-bound NFL team, a media darling...and chunking an 80-yard overtime pass to win a do-or-die playoff game doesn't hurt ... (nor do the newly released Back-lit Jockey Ads). Then there is Peter Dill.
Who is Peter Dill?
Peter is a walk-on college basketball player who "plays" for Seton Hall. I use quotes around "play" because Peter Dill has had just one single minute of play time this season. Still, I'd be willing to say that Dill is one of the most uniquely valuable players on the Seton Hall team.
"What's that?" you say. Check out this Sportscenter video to see what I mean.
For all practical purposes, Peter Dill isn't a player for Seton Hall as much as he is a cheerleader. His accomplishments aren't being picked up by ESPN because he rains three-pointers or demolishes the competition with his blocked shots. His value to the team isn't based on his skill; it's based on encouragement. It's easy to see how his enthusiastic attitude can (and does) inspire others. Wouldn't you want this guy on YOUR team?
The video made me think about my work environment, and it should make you think about yours.
I believe that LOTS of people like the concept of being the quarterback who cranks out the jaw-dropping win in overtime. Most of the fun is in being central to an exceptional performance, isn't it? Still, I think it's more difficult to find people who want to be known for their sideline behavior as a chief encourager, rooter-on of the first string, or cheerleader. How many people do you know who want to fist pump/hammer throw/Aaron Rogers when they aren't the one getting credit for the "win"?
I took a quick inventory of work colleagues who celebrate victories even when their skills aren't part of the mix. They are the people who back up the team with sometimes "ridiculous" expressions of confidence. They are the ones who stop by the office to say "Great job, and I'm happy for you!" They are the colleagues who have your back and celebrate each step forward when YOU make the buzzer beater...they don't. Even when these colleagues don't have any time on the court, they celebrate what you're accomplishing for the team. These are the colleagues who are the "wind in the sails" for others. They are selfless, authentic, and really, really excitable!
So... who are the Peter Dills in your life? Is there anyone on your team who is excited to see your group move forward regardless of who gets the credit? Have YOU ever been like that for someone else? Why can't you be the kind of person who sits on the side and cheers for the team even when you're not in the game? Do you bring this level of enthusiasm when you're sitting on the bench?
The part of me that wants attention and recognition longs to have my corporate life be a Tim Tebow story. However, I now see that I would be equally happy if someone said that my performance reminded them of Peter Dill.
I better start working on my "hammer throw."